Sunday, December 12, 2010

Pimping Out Your Tree

I'm behind on Christmas decorating this year, I usually like to have it done by the day after Thanksgiving, but out of town visitors, the flu, another round of the flu, things just didn't get done.  So, this year I'm scrambling.  After my two week long fight with my pre-lit tree, you can read about that here,  I have finally completed the decorating, just in time to enjoy it for five seconds before I have to take it down.  UGH.  That's why I like to have everything done early, it's such a shame to work so hard to put a tree together, and then turn around and take it down.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Ornament Storage Solution

For years I have dealt with the anxiety of unpacking and re-packing my collection of Christmas tree ornaments.  I don't know if it's simple laziness, or the fear that something might break, but it's been a constant source of stress.  Maybe stress isn't the best word, it's more like DREAD!  Probably the worst thing about Christmas.....the setting up is a bit exciting, but the post New Year's Day cleanup, well it's downright depressing. I could do an entire post on glitter removal, it's daunting to face a brand new year and then add in the post-celebratory cleanup of decor! HATE.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Five Bucks = No More Naked Wall

Sometimes I fail at life.  About a year ago I decided that I wanted to paint my dark chocolate dining room/living room walls something more neutral. Don't even get me started on the amount of primer that necessitated, but at the end of that drama, I had walls that were basically the same color as my sofa and love seat, cream.  Let it be known that I DETEST this sofa and love seat.  One day a few years ago, during a terrible relationship breakup/break, we still haven't sorted out what that was, I purchased two lovely Crate and Barrel Potomac Collection pieces on a whim.  They are not my aesthetic, too country/cutesy/shabby for my taste.  I have spent the last three years trying to make them fit into the rest of my home.  Note to self;  retail therapy is not always the answer.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ghosts of Christmas Trees Past

Every December, I have fights with Christmas trees.  Decorating, lights, nothing seems to work like I want it to, or I can't figure out a way to make my 'vision' come to fruition.  I don't know why I obsess about the tree decorating, but I do.  I've been known to get up in the middle of the night and re-decorate an entire tree.  It's a sickness really.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Festive Ribbon Wreath

I'm a giant hypocrite! I know, I know, I recently professed my traditional distaste for wreaths, but now I've made about 7 different varieties in six weeks time.  I'm back on board people!  It's a woman's prerogative to change her mind right?  I am loving wreaths.  There, I  said it. I saw this ADORABLE  ribbon wreath by Ellen over at The Long Thread before Halloween, and it's been nagging at my 'right brain' since!  It's was too easy and too chic to pass up!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Holiday Santa Hat Craft

When I first began spending my late nights in the DIY and craft blogosphere, I became so inspired by Sarah over at Thrifty Decor Chick that I practically stalked her blog. The ideas and inspiration.....limitless.  I have already utilized a bunch of styrofoam cones in a project I'll debut a bit later this month, but when I saw this idea for hand crafted Santa hats, I just had to share. FAB FAB FAB.  LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oh Christmas Cards, Oh Christmas Cards

Now that the final turkey casserole has been eaten, time to get the cards out!  I remember my mom writing her holiday cards out night after night, with long notes and sometimes letters written in cursive on steno paper.  So glad that I am able to keep up with my friends and family on Facebook and via email, the handwritten cards that mom did seemed so labor intensive.  Hers were certainly more personal and beautiful, the handwritten card is an art form that is sadly being lost.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

CPR for Failing Artificial Christmas Tree

One particular artificial tree usually finds a home in my front room this time of year.  I love this tree because it has branches that continue all the way down to the floor, and since we don't place gifts under said tree, I think the down-swept branches look nicer than a big exposed piece of dark green PVC pipe.  The above image is from 2009, happier times for this tree and I.  When I unpacked this pre-lit bad boy this year, I was bummed to see that eight of the ten light strands were not working.  OYE.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tragic Little Turkey Day

Last year's Thanksgiving was one of those holidays that entire movies are made to mock.  Clark and Ellen Griswold would have fit right in!  The details still stress me out a year later, so I'm going to completely skip over that memory....saving it for a blockbuster screenplay!  CALAMITY!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Twist on Photo in a Frame

I love the holidays, excuses to make cute and fun gifts for friends and family.  So many times I find myself giving people photos in frames.  I hate picking out frames, my style always seeps in, and everyone has a black and white photo with a white mat.  This project is a great way to give photos, and show the love that comes along with a handmade gift.  I've seen variations on this theme, and thought I'd make a few as gifts for the upcoming holiday.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Behind the Green Doors

After completing my fun Lima Bean Wreath project, I went outside to see what color ribbon might look nice……uhm, not good.  My front doors have not had an ounce of attention in the life of the house, I’m ashamed of myself.  I’m tragic, my doors even more tragic.  Cracked, paint chipped, dirty, a big shameful hot mess.  The brass handles looked brown, and I hadn’t noticed it, EVER!  GROSS!

Lima Bean Wreath

I have always had a strange aversion to wreaths.  I’ve avoided the round lovelies for most of my adult life, normally finding them to be 'a little bit country' for my 'a little bit rock-n-roll' taste. But, late one night while surfing the blogosphere, my wreath ill-will was challenged.  All Things Thrifty was featuring the most amazing and economical wreath made from simple Lima beans and Styrofoam! LOVE.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Miner #2 is Mine!

Like everyone else on the planet, I was horrified to learn of the 33 trapped miners in Chile.  I am still dumbfounded at how their note to the outside world was discovered, how they all survived those first undoubtedly BEYOND wretched days. What an amazing group of human beings!  God willing, none of us will ever experience the horrors they suffered mentally and physically.  Let us hope not!

So captivated by the story, I signed up for the 'Google Alerts' regarding the miners and their plight.  When finally, they were discovered alive, for some reason I had serious faith that eventually they would be rescued, somehow.......some way.  So many heroes, above ground and below, proof that miracles do happen, and I for one am so profoundly grateful that these people and their loved ones are now finally immersed in a sea of reunited bliss.  It was wonderful to watch the capsule bring each person to the earth's air again, I bawled 33 times, and then I bawled some more.  It's rare to cry such happy tears, but it felt so good.

The 33 Rescued Chilean Miners
For me, the rescue operation was top shelf reality TV, I stayed up all night glued to CNN, no coffee needed.  What a high, what a rush!  Moral and emotional Robitussin for the entire world.  I loved it.  One of those moments that we feel connected with the planet.  No Black versus White.  No Arab Israeli conflict. Nobody trying to say that the Oakland Raiders suck when everyone should recognize that they have been and will always be the BOMB DOT COM! WOOOOHOOOOO!  Okay, I got off the subject there for a minute...........back to my thought.

Now that everyone is safe and sound, and from what I understand from news outlets, in amazing health considering the whole near tragedy, I think it's okay to say what a lot of women were thinking.  SOME OF THOSE MINERS WERE SUPER HOT!!!!!!!!  I'm not talking kind of cute, I mean Level 4 or 5, I will stalk you and do shady drive-by your house missions at 3:00 AM hot. Who would have thought?

Rescued Hottie Miner #1, Florencio Avalos 
I guess from the grainy videos we saw of these guys shirtless in the mine, I expected them to all kind of look like that character "Mr. Edwards" from Little House on the Prairie. WRONG.  The first one popped out of the capsule and I was like DAMN BOY!  I felt bad for thinking it.  Was I a sicko?   I felt kind of like I was drinking wine coolers in the back of the bus on the way to band camp.  Sometimes though, being bad feels sooooooo good.  When the second one emerged, HE WAS HOT TOO!   Totally cute and rock star charisma, I was digging it!  One after the other, the man candy emerged from deep within the earth, accompanied only by the steam that either rose with them, or oosed from their hot bods!  Suddenly being trapped in a dark mine with these 33 studs didn't seem too bad.  Maybe more like an underground Disneyland for single moms! One text written to a girlfriend of mine said, "Is it just me or are some of these miners hot?"  That's all I had to write and the floodgates were open.  Texts back and forth between about twenty of my girlfriends and I, ranking these dudes like they were Chippendale's Dancers and we were all bombed out of our minds on a girls' Vegas weekend.  My favorite texts went something like, "# 2 is mine" and "did u c 27's butt?"  I was glad I wasn't the only one who noticed how major these guys were.  One friend's mother said to me, "I liked the one with long hair, he looked like a rocker."  I agreed with this chic in her 70's, he was cute.

SUPER MARIO! Mario Sepulveda, who I like to call HOTTIE #2
Okay, now for the ugly part, Number 21.  Bad boy bad boy, watcha gonna do?  Yonni Barrios was the miner whose love triangle was discovered when his wife and mistress practically came to blows at Camp Hope.  Almost like speaking ill of the dead, I feel bad for what I'm about to say, and in no way should this diminish his earned hero/miner status.  But, Yonni is a creeper.  The creeper part wasn't even that he had a mistress, it was that he allegedly asked both of them to greet  him as the capsule returned him to Chile and quite possibly a hellstorm of woman fury.  According to the Sun, his mistress, Susana Valenzuela, reportedly spoke of her joy at having Barrios back, to which his wife Marta supposedly said, "She's welcome to him."  Go Marta, Go Marta, Go Marta! Some men are so narcissistic.  I mean, did he really think they would both show up, on worldwide television to greet him Hugh Hefner style? (Hef is the only one allowed to do that!) Kudos to Marta.  She needs to ice that man down, permanently.  The only exception to the obligatory icing would be if she needs to play nice as long as it takes to cash in on some of the Miner-Celebrity dough, and then boot his sorry ass.  She earned some of that money, he's obviously a toolbox.  Marta has reportedly told press outlets that she only had "two or three days of happiness" in their 28-year marriage, and has also said, "I'm not even going to watch him on TV. I know he is OK and that's enough for me."  You go girl!  I'm sure you are smarter and cuter and funnier than "OLD SUSANA" anyway, I mean YOU DESERVE BETTER RIGHT!

Naughty #33 and his hook, aka Yonni Barrio (Creeper McCreeperton) and homewrecker Susana Valenzuela
I haven't blogged in forever, and when I mentioned to my dad that I was going to do a ranking of the miners' hotness, 1-33, he told me it was a 'bad idea little girl." That's dad code for, "you do that and I'll disown you and you will still be orbiting the earth ten years from now because I will put you there with my boot." I still might do it, but I'll let a little more dirt fall on it, no pun intended.

For now, in 33rd place, miner number 21, sweet Yonni.

Having said all of that, I couldn't be more thrilled for the miners, the rescuers, the families, Chile, and even my main man Yonni.  They are all heroes, courageous, brave, true examples of what a wonderful thing the human spirit can be. Thank you to Oakley for hooking them up with those dark sunglasses so they all looked so sexy as they greeted us via our flat screens, and to the good folks that sent down the razors and dry shampoo, GOOD THINKING!  We ladies ENJOYED!


Monday, October 18, 2010

Sister Wives, D-Bags, and Self-Loathing in American Fork, Utah

I'm pretty much down with polygamists.  I don't mind them at all really, I mean if all parties are into it, who am I to judge? Hef has three chics, nobody seems to mind.  It's totally acceptable in many parts of the world, okay not a problem.  On a personal level, I come from Utah people, Mormon people.....and yes, polygamists, and not very far back.  My great-great grandmother was a second wife .........wait for a man who was married to two of her sisters as well. Three wives, three sisters.   I'm not talking 'sister-wives' I'm talking like Marcia, Jan, and Cindy sisters, all married to the same dude. Utah, whatevz. That's not a typo, that's whatevz.

I don't really know that much about those old LDS lifestyles, things were different back then.  If you grew up in Utah, Idaho, Arizona.......there's a good chance there are some polygamists in your family too. There were some pluralist families living in the community where I grew up, but they were on the down-low I didn't realize it at the time. Later, when I found out, it didn't faze me.  It's something people aren't too shocked by in certain parts of the country.  Go to Target in St. George, Utah, and you can see the compound polygamists everywhere, all decked-out their prairie garb, buying things that seem odd for people in prairie Diet Coke and Jansport backpacks.  It's kind of weird, but only because you wouldn't think they would buy that stuff.  At least I wouldn't want a backpack if I was living on a compound.  Or would I?  Oh nevermind.

Members of the FLDS Polygamist Sect

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I Screamed At President Clinton

I have always had an interest in politics.  Growing up, my family was very involved in local government, so I was aware of running for office and things of that nature at a young age. I was born during the Nixon Administration, and started realizing what the presidency was all about during the Carter Administration.  Politics fascinated me.

Youth Legislature at the State Capitol
In grade school, I remember being really scared that someday,  I would be held  hostage in Iran.  It took me a while to grasp the concept that Americans were being held, and why.  I would literally worry that the Ayatollah Khomeini would get me.   I was a weird kid, clearly, but every night on the news, Walter Cronkite would count the days as the hostages remained in captivity, and it genuinely freaked me out.  Years later, I would come to realize that Jimmy Carter was one of the finest negotiators of all time, and to this day he does not receive enough credit for his brilliant work during the Camp David Accords, but that's another story. At the time, I just remember all of those peanuts he filtered into public school hot lunches;  peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, peanut butter clusters, peanut butter cups, it was genius.  I'm sure Georgia is still thanking him. My mom was moderately obsessed with John Kennedy,  she often recounted stories about  his assassination.

In junior high, I have vivid memories about the attempt to end Ronald Reagan's life .  I was glued to the nightly news, we were all so worried that Mr. Reagan wouldn't make it.   I was learning about the social fabric of this was horrifying and inspiring all at once.  Reagan was a real celebrity in my book. He was a movie star, he hung out with Michael Jackson sometimes, his wife had the best Chanel and Halston vintage couture gowns money could buy, he was the President AND Phill Collins had a Ronald Reagan marionette as the star of his Genesis video, Land of Confusion.  It doesn't get much cooler than that, and at age 13, I thought Reagan was the shit.

In high school, I was very active in student government.  I held offices, did public service, was Key Club president, Tri -Hi-Y secretary, a youth legislature representative for a few years, Girl's State attendee, all of that jazz.  I even worked on the campaign for Bush/Quayle.  I was so into it, I decided to major in Political Science.

In college I was part of Campus Republicans  as well as a political science fraternal organization for girls and guys.  I really enjoyed the people I met, even though they were very conservative compared to me.  I hated Bill Clinton with a fever, not sure why, I just did.  I guess I was supposed to because I had that College Republicans membership card.  In the fall of 1992 I took a class called 'The Presidency' and I would sit there flirting with guys while the professor would lecture.  (I feel bad about that now, he was a  fantastic educator, and I wasted my time passing notes about parties at my favorite frat house, and reading Victoria's Secret Catalogs in class. I would like to take this time to apologize publically to that professor and to any other university staff that I catalog-shopped on their time.)   I don't think I turned in one paper, read the book, or did any assignments.  I was flunking.  The major assignment of the semester was  to write a paper predicting the presidential election results of 1992.  I took about five minutes in between hanging out in the student union building scarfing tator tots or eating pizza bombs at the local college hangout to take my stab at that assignment.  Much to everyone's surprise, with nearly 100% accuracy, I predicted the presidential election results.  In red pen, on the front of my submission, the words, "CLOSER THAN ANY NATIONAL POLL!" Victory.  I had succesfully parlayed a semester of partying and sleeping late into an automatic A. LOVES.  I still have that plastic bound paper, maybe it's my legacy.  After that stroke of luck, I guess I thought I was a phenom, because I then transferred to the number one political science school in the country, and eventually graduated with my BA.

Forty thousand dollars in student loan debt later, I was selling bikinis at the mall.  I was bitter.  I didn't become a lobbyist in Washington.  I wasn't on CSPAN. I wasn't a secret service agent for the first lady's detail.  I worked at the mall.  Failure at life.  Someone had to take the blame.  CLINTON.  A few years later I was recruited to work on the Quayle campaign.  A political mentor, who is also one of my bff's father, gave me some very sound advice.  Mr. Harris told me to, "BE CAREFUL WHO I HITCH MY WAGON TO IN THE POLITICAL ARENA."

I guess I took Mr. Harris's advice a little too literally, I dropped politics totally. I bought Monica Lewinsky's book, and then went on with my life. I am ashamed to say I never voted again until Obama/McCain.....and even then I stood at the ballot box dumfounded about which vote to cast.  I became totally disinterested in politics and immersed myself in a life of obsessing about 1970's pop stars and stalking them online.  For the most part, it has served me well.

Fast forward to earlier this week.  At my employer's national sales meeting, a few gal pals and I decided to do some self-inflicted beauty treatments in our hotel room prior to our annual awards dinner.  We spent a few hours doing each other's hair, having cocktails, and gossiping.  Of course, I was the last to be ready and my friends Tricia and Susan were trying to hurry me along.  With cameras in hand and our best party attire on, we exited our room, only to be quickly instructed to go back in.  A gentleman told Tricia the police were coming and to stay in our room.  We three stood in the doorway watching about ten SUPER HOT guys in suits trickle by.  Having worked in large conference hotels, I figured someone had a medical emergency in one of the rooms.  Then, five more guys followed....all smartly dressed in golf attire.  I was not surprised with this as we were at a golf resort, but I was getting annoyed at all the foot traffic because we were a bit behind schedule.  The little cluster of middle-aged golfers were interesting to me, middle-aged golfer means MONEY and FUTURE HUSBAND in my vernacular, so I perked up to see if any were worth a second look.

I wish there was a Polaroid picture of my face at this point.  We were suddenly and unexpectedly eye to eye with former president Bill Clinton.  He said, "Hello" in a voice I will always remember.  The three of us dummies just stood there stunned.  We were paralyzed in the presence of greatness.  Flashback to my political upbringing, my years spent at the most prestigious political science university in the nation, my work on Bush/Quayle.  I could have asked a serious question about healthcare, about Haiti, about Hillary....ANYTHING. But no, Miss Snooty Pants Wannabe Big Political Player Thinks She's All That In Her Fancy Shoes And Dress, really bombed this time.  I not only replied, I SCREAMED back in his face.  I was face to face with someone who was the most powerful man in the world for eight years.....who said hello, and my reply, in true white trash glory was, "HOLY CRAP!"  Yes, I screamed HOLY CRAP in Bill Clinton's face.  I choked.  Totally.

Former President Bill Clinton
If that weren't bad enough.  None of us had the good sense to ask for a photo.  We were probably holding six camera devices between us, but we all just stood there, paralyzed.....except for me and my disrespectful screeching.  Again, no filter.  I have often heard about the magnetism of Bill Clinton.  I can personally say that he was probably the hottest man I have ever laid eyes on.  He can put a voodoo magic on a woman with just a look.  He's powerful, he's amazing, he blew all three of our minds.  It felt like his eyes went right through me.  When he said hello, it was as if an angel said hello.  He's got MOJO beyond MOJO. It's something else, he's INTENSE. I forgive Monica.

As quickly as he appeared, Bill the Angel in a Callaway Golf Polo vanished.  The rest of Mr. Clinton's detail followed along after him.  I had blown it.  So what does a big moron do when she inserts foot in mouth?  Insert the other one!  I yelled down the hall.  "I love you Bill Clinton you are beautiful."  At this point, Tricia and Susan disowned me.  I was so confused.  It was like meeting Donny Osmond, Michael Jackson, and Julian Lennon all at once.  I lost my mind. Really. I was totally in the midst of an out-of-body experience.

By now we were almost late  for our event and ran to the elevator, all in five-inch heels of course.  There was a woman in the lift with us who must have thought we three thirty-somethings possessed the brains of nine-year old girls.  We were giggling and giddy, replaying to each other the tale of seeing 'Slick Willie' outside our hotel room.  The prim and professional woman proceeded to inform us that Mr. Clinton was speaking at their healthcare conference that evening.  We were VERY jealous.

Needless to say, we retold our story several times throughout the night.  Each time, I edited Tricia and Susan out a little bit. By the end, Bill Clinton was looking solely at me.  After our banquet, one of the big shots in our company, John, stopped to visit.  I spoke to him of my humiliating choke of all chokes,  about shrieking in the president's face.  I was going to leave the part about yelling down the hall out of  the story, but Susan kept me honest with her prompts of my second attempt and success at making a complete fool of myself.  The VIP from work said disgustedly, "Good Recovery" and we all died laughing.  Best line of the night!  We laughed until our cheeks ached.  It was a good night.

Later on, about midnight, we did try calling Bill's room, but no luck. We peeked under the door we thought was his suite, but clearly, the hot secret service men were gone, and so was our boy William Jefferson Clinton.  There are so many regrets about that night, I wouldn't know how to categorize them.  I still don't understand why we didn't take a picture.  The only thing I can say at this moment is that it was the best five seconds of my life.  It was thrilling to see him, and we all thought he was every bit as captivating as those who have met him have described.  Since that night, I have formulated thousands of thought-provoking, socially relevant questions to ask Mr. Clinton if I ever see him in a hallway again.  I am probably only doing this to soothe myself because even I am amazed at my own moronic behavior.  I have been a Democrat for three days now though, so far so good.

I'm really going to have to prepare something in writing for when I do have the good fortune of meeting Donny Osmond.  Clearly, I'm not a clutch player.